Church membership and social insurance: Evidence from the great Mississippi flood of 1927

Ager, Philipp ; Hansen, Casper Worm ; Lønstrup, Lars

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Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2016
The title of a journal, publication series: Discussion Papers on Business and Economics
Volume: 7
Place of publication: Odense
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Law and Economics > Angewandte Makroökonomik (Ager 2021-)
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: Z12 , H40 , D70,
Keywords (English): religion , informal insurance , club goods , natural disasters
Abstract: Religious communities are key providers of social insurance. This paper focuses on the devastating impact of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 to investigate how an increase in the demand for social insurance affects church membership. We find a significant increase in church membership in flooded counties. This effect is stronger in counties with severe economic losses and where access to credit was limited. We also document that fundamental denominations gained more members in flooded counties, which is consistent with the theory of club goods emphasizing the efficient provision of mutual insurance in stricter religious communities.

Dieser Datensatz wurde nicht während einer Tätigkeit an der Universität Mannheim veröffentlicht, dies ist eine Externe Publikation.

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